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Ahok's batik shirt attracts Rp 100m in first bidding round

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, July 2, 2020  /  11:30 am
Ahok's batik shirt attracts Rp 100m in first bidding round

A composite image from the 'Lelang Kebaikan' auction on BenihBaik.com shows Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama's batik shirt (left) open for bidding. The then-Jakarta governor wore the shirt to his first blasphemy hearing (right) on Dec. 13, 2016. (lelangkebaikan.benihbaik.com/File)

In less than 24 hours since bidding opened on June 29 for an online auction, the batik shirt worn by former Jakarta governor Basuki “BTP” Tjahaja Purnama has attracted a bid of Rp 100 million (US$6,961.12)

The "Lelang Kebaikan" auction is hosted on the crowdfunding platform BenihBaik.com, and aims to raise funds for charity programs distributing essential goods and supplies to those affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.

BTP wore the shirt to the first hearing of his blasphemy trial on Dec. 13, 2016, when the governor was known as "Ahok".

The shirt is made from a batik cloth bearing the parang seling nogo pattern, which represents high spirit for achieving a positive outcome. The wave-like motifs in the pattern symbolizes the challenges the wearer faces, while the nogo (dragon) motif symbolizes good luck. As a whole, the pattern represents resilience in facing life's obstacles.

The highest bid for the shirt came from Onggy Hianata, a motivational speaker and founder of the Freedom Faithnet Global community organization. Onggy's life story was adapted into the biopic Terbang Menembus Langit (Flying through the Sky, 2018) by director Fajar Nugros.

BenihBaik.com founder Andy F. Noya expressed his appreciation for Onggy’s bid on the batik shirt. “Following our initial proceedings, the auction is still open for those who want to help people in need,” Andy said in a statement.

The opening bid for BTP’s batik shirt was set at Rp 54 (less than 1 US cent), with bidding to run until July 6

“For my 54th birthday [on June 29], I’d like to celebrate it with my friends by putting my memorable batik shirts up for auction,” BTP said on Monday.

The batik shirts the then-governor wore to his second blasphemy hearing on Dec. 20, 2016 and third hearing in 2017 are also to be auctioned.

Those interested in bidding on the items can register on the dedicated Lelang Kebaikan page.

Proceeds from the Lelang Kebaikan auction will be donated to 10 campaigns on BenihBaik.com raising funds for COVID-19 charity programs distributing sembako (staple food packages), PPE and other essential goods.

The former Jakarta governor was charged with blasphemy under the Criminal Coded in May 2017 for suggesting that his political opponents had abused a Quranic verse to block his 2017 reelection bid. He was found guilty of blasphemy that same month and sentenced to two years in prison. He started using the moniker "BTP" upon his release in January 2019. 

The BenihBaik.com crowdfunding platform is dedicated to hosting campaigns to help those in need, and was founded by Andy F. Noya, Khristiana Anggit Mustikaningrum and Firdaus Juli. (wir/wng)

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